In late February, the Regrettes singer/guitarist Lydia Night attended singer/songwriter/producer Bebe Rexha’s Women in Harmony dinner in West Hollywood.
The dinner, billed by Billboard as “a celebration and conversation amongst the strongest female writers, producers and artists in the music business,” gave Night the opportunity to rub elbows with the likes of more than three dozen female creatives, including performers Charli XCX, Avril Lavigne, Kelsea Ballerini, Sevyn Streeter, Lindsey Stirling, JoJo, Noonie Bao, Kim Petras and Aluna Francis.
Songwriters Ali Tamposi, Asia Whiteacre and Erica Ender, producers/writers WondaGurl and Lauren Christy and dancer/singer/actress Julianne Hough also attended the dinner.
Night called the dinner inspiring and said she hopes to see it continued on a regular basis.
“To be surrounded by women who are doing what you do but on a way larger scale is really, really cool to see,” she said from her home in Los Angeles. “It’s really important to see because it makes you want to keep going. Also, the industry is really tough and there are a lot of (expletive) in it and when you find the gems in it, you have to keep them in your circle.”
Looking at Night’s résumé, it’s no surprise she was invited to the Women in Harmony dinner.
The 17-year-old has been playing guitar since she was 6 years old, having gotten a guitar for her birthday after seeing rock quartet the Donnas live.
“I had never been to a rock concert and seeing my first one and having it be all female and realizing ‘That’s something that I can do and that I want to do,’ it all clicked and I immediately was set,” she said. “I’m a very stubborn person and the second that I made that choice, it has not changed.”
She’s played in bands pretty much ever since and formed the Regrettes with bassist/backing vocalist Sage Nicole, lead guitarist/backing vocalist Genessa Gariano and drummer Maxx Morando in 2015.
The punk-rock/surf-rock quartet released its debut album, “Feel Your Feelings Fool!,” in 2017 and an EP, “Attention Seeker,” in February, which brings the Regrettes to the Bartlett on Thursday.
“Attention Seeker” features two new songs – “Come Through” and “Red Light” – plus a cover of the Dion and the Belmonts song “A Teenager in Love” and acoustic versions of “Hey Now” and “A Living Human Girl,” both of which appeared on “Feel Your Feelings Fool!”
The band wrote “Red Light” together and Night wrote “Come Through” with producer Mike Elizondo.
Night’s lyrics are unapologetically real, honestly chronicling life as a woman in this day and age.
In “Red Light,” Night sings about losing sleep, and her breath, because of a new love, and in “Come Through,” she kicks her ex to the curb.
“You don’t come through/Like you say you do/Now I don’t need you to/Cause I don’t need you,” she sings in the doo-wop-inspired chorus.
“It’s funny because they’re actually about the same person,” Night said.
The songs on “Feel Your Feelings Fool!” are no different.
Night sings about losing a friend on “Bronze” and pushes back against those who belittle her on “Seashore.”
“You’re talking to me like I’m dumb/Well I’ve got news. I’ve got a lot to say/And there’s nothing you can do to take that away,” she sings.
On “A Living Human Girl,” the first single from the album, Night puts universal topics that are still taboo to talk about, like pimples, greasy hair, periods, hairy legs and stretchmarks, front and center.
“With a song like that, it’s all these really obvious things that, for some reason, nobody really talks about,” Night said. “But it’s things that everyone, literally, on their own or, at least, most women on their own are dealing with and I think it’s ridiculous to pretend that we don’t.”
The song’s message and video, which stars Night’s best friend Alithea Tuttle as a paper doll getting dressed and manipulated by giant hands, has really connected with listeners.
“This is the song that I’ve been looking for,” writes one viewer on YouTube. “Thanks for creating such an inspiring song for all of us!”
“Thank you for creating a song that tells girls it’s OK to NOT be perfect!” writes another.
Comments like these keep Night going and give her more fuel to fight the kind of people she addresses in “Seashore.”
“That’s the reason why I love what I do is because of the fact that there are people after shows that come up to me and are like ‘That song helped me get through this,’ or ‘This song changed my life because of this, this and this,’ ” she said. “That is the coolest thing in the world.”
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